I find myself reflecting on my own PTSD journey. 15 months ago, I was in deep depression, thought it would never get back to what I knew as normal, could not work, and was not the loving father or the patient husband that I used to be. Thought I would never be able to work again and could not see a sliver of light in the dark world I was in. But I knew I had to keep going so with support from my psychologist and my wife I kept my journey going, it would have been so easy to get up but I refused to give in. My journey to recovery was far from perfect, I stumbled, lost my way a couple of times but I could see signs of progress, I was laughing with my kids again, pulled myself out of isolation and started to connect with old friends, spending more quality time with my wife. I knew then that I had to keep marching on my path to recovery. I started to look after myself, started exercising regularly, started eating healthier meals especially those high in protein and omega 3s. All of these changes accelerated my recovery. I went back to work, on a gradual basis. This was a huge step in my life, I had purpose in my life again and a distraction to keep my mind off what happened to me in the past. I focused all my energy on the present. It took another three months of therapy and the continuation of my lifestyle changes but I finally was able to work on a full time basis.
Looking back at where I started my journey and when I started, I truly thought at that time that I will never lead a normal life again, I am so glad that I was wrong. The obstacles I encountered were self-medication with alcohol, side effects from multiple changes in medication and anxiety attacks. There are still a few days when I struggle but by using some of the coping strategies such as yoga, abdominal breathing and regular cardio exercise, I can still make it through those days. Another factor that has helped me sustain my recovery is helping others who have just started or are not as far as I am in their journey to recovery. The benefits of peer support are tremendous.
It is entirely possible that by continuing your journey, even by making small changes in your lifestyle, you will start to see positives. Please do not give in and support each other because in the end it is going to be worth it.